tots9 (2)

Frozen tater tots were a staple in my house growing up.  As an adult I stopped eating many processed foods like tater tots that are essentially a little potato with a lot of preservatives, fats and salt.  In this recipe I use healthier sweet potatoes with grated onion for flavor and panko bread crumbs for crunch.  I amped up the flavor by adding cumin and parmesan.  Serve them with my spicy basil ketchup and you’ve got a healthy answer for that not-so-good-for-you snack craving!


2 large                                sweet potatoes, peeled and cut into 1” chunks

1 large                                Idaho potato, peeled and cut into 1” chunks

4 ea                                      scallion, minced

3 t                                         salt

1 t                                         ground cumin

¼ C                                        shredded parmesan

3 C                                         panko bread crumbs

½  C                                      grated parmesan cheese

2 t                                         sea salt

1 t                                          black pepper

                                                Pure olive oil pan spray


Combine cut potatoes and scallion in the bowl of a food processor fitted with the metal blade.  Add 3 t salt and 1 cup water.  Pulse mixture until potatoes are coarsely chopped.  Take care not to over process potatoes – you want a rough texture rather than a puree.  Drain mixture in a strainer pressing on the potatoes to remove as much water as possible.  Transfer potatoes to a microwave safe bowl and microwave on high power, uncovered for 10 minutes.

Add cumin and shredded parmesan to potato mixture and fold gently.  Set aside and cool to room temperature.

Combine panko, grated parmesan, sea salt and black pepper on a rimmed baking sheet.

Spray a separate parchment lined baking pan with olive oil pan spray and set aside.  Scoop 1T of potato mixture into your hand and form into a flat end cylinder TOT shape.  (Alternately, you can form them into balls similar to a meatball in shape) Drop formed tot onto panko mixture and toss gently.  Press lightly so crumbs will stick.  Transfer tot to parchment lined baking sheet sprayed with pan spray.  Continue shaping and breading tots until all potato mixture is used.  Lightly spray tops of formed sweet potato tots with pan spray.

Bake for 20-25 minutes until nicely browned and crisp.   Serve with basil ketchup. (recipe below)




½ C                                       Fresh basil

1 clove                               garlic, peeled

½ t                                        Crushed red pepper flakes

1 t                                         balsamic vinegar

1 C                                         ketchup, store bought or home-made

Salt and white pepper


Prepare ketchup.  In the work bowl of a food processor, combine garlic, basil and crushed red pepper.  Process until chopped well.  Add balsamic vinegar and ketchup and process well.